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Decisions, decisions: Choosing a cloud migration tool

There are a number of different cloud migration and optimization tools on the market, so be sure to consider your unique requirements before bringing one on board.

Hoping to reap benefits such as greater flexibility, cost-efficiency and scale, organizations of all sizes are migrating applications to the cloud -- but many times, they can't go at it alone.

Fortunately, there are a range of cloud provider and third-party tools designed to help organizations migrate applications to the cloud, and then manage and optimize those apps post-migration. In some cases, these tools also help organizations track their cloud computing resources, costs and performance.

For many IT professionals, cloud migration tools are a saving grace -- and it seems more organizations are choosing to adopt them. According to research group IDC, the worldwide cloud systems management software market is expected to exceed $8 billion by 2019. Tools for cloud performance and event management -- including those that provide monitoring and resource optimization capabilities -- represent the fastest-growing segment of that market.

When it comes to choosing a cloud migration tool, organization's should step back, and consider their unique IT and application requirements. For instance, AutoGrid, a provider of big data analytics software for energy and utility companies based in Redwood Shores, Calif., opted for Cloudyn, a software as a service (SaaS) offering that allows users to manage and monitor cloud workloads and costs across a number of different cloud platforms, ranging from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to OpenStack.

As AutoGrid's customer base continued to grow, so did its AWS cloud environment, which it uses to host its big data software. The company wanted a cloud optimization tool that could help them track their AWS costs and identify cloud sprawl.

"One of the reasons we use Cloudyn ... is that it keeps our sprawl in check," said Tim Fewkes, head of product operations at AutoGrid."We needed something to keep us accountable."

Other organizations look for a different set of capabilities in a cloud migration tool. For example, ScaleArc, a provider of database traffic management software based in Santa Clara, Calif., chose CloudVelox for its automated cloud disaster recovery (DR) capabilities.

Among other use cases, ScaleArc uses CloudVelox DR to back up its bug tracking and ticketing system, said Bobby Brown, VP of operations at ScaleArc.

"If we know it will be more than 10 to 15 minutes of downtime, we will spin it up in AWS using CloudVelox so engineers aren't down and customers can still submit a ticket," Brown said.

For other users, ease of use is key.

Doug Lionberger, former director of e-commerce, cloud services and DevOps at Hyatt, said he used CloudVelox to accelerate the migration of the Hyatt.com website to the cloud. And while the tool's ability to reduce the timeline for that project was essential, so was the simplicity with which his team could use it, Lionberger said. "The UI was very intuitive and effortless to use," he added.

Cloudyn was named "Best public cloud optimization/migration tool" in the 2016 Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards. Check out the entire photo story for a full list of categories and winners.

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